Fish Radio

Meetings will shape fishing futures: A line up

August 19, 2015

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Upcoming meetings will shape Alaska’s fishing futures – a  line up after this –                            Dollar sign and fish

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It’s a meeting line up like never before for Alaska’s fishing industry. Starting off  this Friday  – the  state Department of Natural Resources will hear both sides on competing claims to water rights for salmon streams at Upper Cook Inlet’s Chuitna River or to dewater the region for what would be Alaska’s  biggest coal mine. The decision could set a state precedent. A decision is expected on or before October 9.

Next Wednesday, August 26, is the state Supreme Court hearing on the setnet ban proposed for Cook Inlet and five other Alaska regions.   The outcome will decide if the question can go before Alaska voters next year.

In early October the North Pacific Council will begin crafting some kind of a catch share plan to reduce trawl bycatch in the Gulf of Alaska. It will include up to 25 different fish species. The public can weigh in through August 28th as all options are being considered.  Rachel Baker is a fisheries management specialist at NOAA Fisheries in Juneau

  If people have very different ideas about alternatives for bycatch management we would really appreciate those comments and the more specific the better, in terms of particular approaches,  Also about things they definitely don’t want to see.  If a member of the public is worried about bycatch management but they don’t think catch shares are a viable alternative, we’d really appreciate hearing other ideas.

The state Board of Fisheries will take up 215 proposals during its meeting cycle, which starts with a work session in late October.  The focus is on the Alaska Peninsula, Bristol Bay and AYK (Arctic / Yukon / Kuskokwim) regions.  There are 70 management proposals for Bristol Bay, 24 for commercial fisheries.

Turning to halibut fisheries – the interim meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission is set for December 1-2 in Seattle.  Then the 92nd annual meeting is set for late January in Juneau. That’s when the halibut catch limits for 2016 and any new regulations or management changes will be decided.  The public can submit proposals to the Halibut Commission by October 31.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.